We want to give them more chances to play outside their homes


Children are stuck at home but play has never been more important than it is now. Sign up for the new London Playwire Weekly for tips and ideas every Tuesday, direct to your inbox.



We campaign to prevent the loss of playable space


Children are stuck at home but play has never been more important than it is now. Sign up for the new London Playwire Weekly for tips and ideas every Tuesday, direct to your inbox.


We promote quality and choice in play provision


Children are stuck at home but play has never been more important than it is now. Sign up for the new London Playwire Weekly for tips and ideas every Tuesday, direct to your inbox.



Play is a fun way to be active

We work to increase opportunities for children to play


Children are stuck at home but play has never been more important than it is now. Sign up for the new London Playwire Weekly for tips and ideas every Tuesday, direct to your inbox.



Latest funding opportunities

Finding funding for play has never been more challenging. And most of us who are passionate about play subscribe to the view that play 'for play's sake' is important. But if you can consider how what you are doing contributes to improved health, stronger inclusive communities and positive activities for young people, there is still money to be found to fund play. Here are some of the latest opportunities.

Comic Relief Local Communities - Core Strength Programme

This 12 month programme is responding to the growing need of small locally led groups to cover their day to day costs. The aim is to provide funding for groups’ core costs - meaning expenditure that is not connected to delivering projects but focusing on investing in the organisation as a whole, such as basic running costs. Up to £10k is available for organisations with an income of less than £100k annually. 

Deadlines is 28 May 2018 and applications must be made via the London Community Foundation here

City Bridge Trust

Awards capital and revenue grants to charitable organisations for work in 12 programme areas that benefits Londoners, including Improving London’s Environment, Making London More Inclusive, Improving Londoners' Mental Health and Strengthening London's Voluntary Sector. The grants committee meets six times a year and there is no minimum or maximum award. More details and online application form are available here.

People's Postcode Trust Small Grants Programme

This programme provides funding of up to £20,000 for projects of up to a year in length, with a strong focus on community development. The deadline for Round 1 funding is now passed but Round 2 opens on 1 August 2018. 

Check here for more details and to apply. 

Trust for London

Funding of up to £150,000 for work that develops new and imaginative ways of addressing the root causes of London’s social problems, especially work which has the potential to influence and change policy, practice and public attitudes. Funding is available under a number of streams including: Good Homes and Neighbourhoods; and Stronger Voices.

More information is here and the next application deadlines are 5 June and 5 October 2018.

Genesis Wellbeing Foundation

The Genesis Wellbeing Foundation is the grant giving arm of Genesis Housing Association, which owns or manages around 33,000 homes across London. Small grants of up to £5,000 and large grants of up to £50,000 are available for projects which benefit Genesis residents (and potentially others as well) under one or more of five themes including volunteering and health and wellbeing.  

The 2017/18 deadline has passed. Click here for more information about future application deadlines.

Hilden Charitable Fund

The Fund has allocated a small budget to help community groups run summer play schemes for disadvantaged communities.  Some priority will be given to projects which show they are inclusive of children from refugee families, and show BME involvement.

Applications are generally due in May of each year. Click here to visit the Hilden website. 

BBC Children in Need

Children in Need makes grants to projects in the UK which focus on disadvantaged children and young people. Two funding programmes are offered - main grants of over £10k/year and up to around £120k are available for up to three years; and small grants of under £10k/year for up to three years. 

The 2018 deadlines for the main grants programme are 17 May and 13 September.

Small grants deadlines are 13 May, 2 September and 2 December in 2018.

More information about how to apply is here or you can email

Peabody Community Fund

The Peabody Community Fund awards grants to charities, residents and community organisations working for the benefit of people living in the areas in which Peabody operates, which includes plenty of areas in London. The purpose of this fund is to improve the quality of life of Peabody residents by supporting local activities that are responding to identified community need; bring communities together; and  promote well-being.

Grants of between £500 and £5,000 are available. Applications must be made via the London Community Foundation and the next deadline is noon on Friday 21 March 2018.

Association of Play Industries

The API is a member's body for playground equipment manufacturers and has a list of potential funding sources for playgrounds on its website here.

Tesco Charity Trust Community Awards

The Tesco Charity Trust Community Awards Scheme provides one-off donations of between £500 and £4,000 to registered charities and not for profit organisations who are working on local projects that support children and their education and welfare, elderly people and adults and children with disabilities. The programme is currently closed but for future announcements click here.

ASDA Foundation Community Grants

Grants are available for not-for-profit organisations to develop stronger better connected communities across the UK by targeting the key social issues that are affecting local communities. Click here for details.

Magdalen Hospital Trust

Provides up to £2,000 to fund projects which benefit deprived and disabled children and young people, with priorities including literacy, special needs education, clubs, play schemes, and counselling. Applications are only accepted from registered charities with an annual income of less than £150,000. Trustees meet twice a year to consider applications - with application windows during March and September for the May and November meetings respectively. Click here for more information and to download an application form. 

London Marathon Charitable Trust

The Trust uses surplus income from the London Marathon to fund the provision of high quality recreation facilities to meet the leisure needs of the community. Priority is given to projects which develop local participation in sport, recreation and play, especially in a way which encourages community development. In the past, grants have been made up to a value of £250,000 but most are for less than £100,000.

Applications for small capital grants (up to £20,000) can be made at any time and those for major capital grants are considered four times a year.  For more information go here

Near Neighbours Fund

Funding of between £250 and £5,000 is available for communities with significant religious diversity to help them run projects which will bring about lasting benefits to their neighbourhoods. It is also intended to further equip people with the skills, relationships and confidence to improve their local communities, building on the achievements on the first phase of Near Neighbours.

The fund has reopened for 2016 and has no deadlines but is expected to run until November. Go to the Church Urban Fund website for details.

The Big Lottery Fund

BIG is responsible for distributing £600m each year (40 per cent) of all the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery. This totals around £6 bn since 2004.

It runs more than 20 funding programmes, several of which are relevant to play - including Awards for All and Reaching Communities. For more information click here.

Lady Allen of Hurtwood Memorial Trust - Travel Awards

Lady Allen was a pioneer in the field of children's rights and adventure play for disabled children. Grants are awarded to candidates working with children - with a particular emphasis on those who work with disabled children and/or children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The aim of the travel award, which is awarded annually, is to offer candidates the opportunity to travel and broaden their professional experience which they can then apply to their work with children. 

Application forms and guidelines (as well as further information about previous grants awarded and the life of Lady Allen) can be found by emailing Caroline Richards:

Please note that ALL applications must be posted (NOT SENT BY EMAIL) to: Caroline Richards,  89 Thurleigh Road, London SW12 8TY.

Applications generally close in January of each year.

The Santander Foundation

Santander has two grants programmes to help disadvantaged people in the UK:

Community Plus provides grants of up to £5,000. The scheme is open to small local UK charities or local projects of national charities with funding available to cover salaries, equipment or materials.

Community Plus London is an additional £100,000 for charities in London. Nominations can be made through your local branch of Santander or by visiting the Mayors Fund for London website. After this date nominations can be made for Community Plus in the usual way.

Central Fund offers grants of up to £10,000. The scheme is open to charities and Credit Unions anywhere in the UK for projects related to education, training or financial capability.

You can apply to both grants programmes, but a grant from one programme will prevent you from getting a grant from the other. For more information visit

Foyle Foundation: Small Grants Scheme

This fund is designed to support smaller charities in the UK, especially those working at grass roots and local community level, in any field, across a wide range of activities. Applications are welcomed from charities that have an annual turnover of less than £100,000 per annum. Grants are usually offered between £1,000 and £10,000 and must be shown to make a significant impact on the recipient organisation's work. More information is here.

The Landfill Communities Fund

The Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) is a tax credit scheme which enables operators of landfill sites to contribute money to enrolled environmental bodies to carry out projects which create significant environmental benefits and jobs, promote sustainable waste management, and which improve the lives of communities living near landfill sites. Projects qualifiying for funding must be located within the catchment area of a landfill site.

There are two methods of receiving funding through the LCF. You can apply directly through a landfill operator, but the most likely way is via an organisation that distributes the monies on a landfill operator's behalf, commonly known as a distributive environmental body. A list of DEBs can be found here.

More information about the LCF can be found on the ENTRUST website.

Reaching Communities Building Fund

The buildings strand of the Big Lottery's Reaching Communities provides funding for land and buildings projects costing more than £100,000. It can also provide revenue funding to help to get the building running and deliver project activities. So that this funding makes the biggest difference to those most in need, it is targeted at buildings or sites based in the most deprived areas in England.

Funding is available for building grants up to 2015 and there are currently no deadlines for applications. However, the programme is regularly reviewed and you are encouraged you to apply as soon as you are ready.

More information is on the Reaching Communities website.

The London Community Foundation

The London Community Foundation website features a map of London showing grants available in each borough. Click here to see the map. 

The Gannett Foundation

The Gannett Foundation is the charitable arm of Gannett Co Inc., owner of the Newsquest Media Group. It provides funding to support local organisations in the area where Newsquest operates in the UK - including large parts of London.  Community Action Grants suppport projects which take a creative approach to issues such as education and neighbourhood improvements, economic development, youth development, local problem solving, assistance to disadvantaged or disabled people, environmental conservation and cultural enrichment. Typically grants are made for projects which merit awards of between £5,000 and £10,000.

Applications must be submitted on the approved application form, which may be downloaded or obtained from your local Newsquest newspaper office. UK Grants are made once a year, in the autumn - dates are publicised in local Newsquest newspapers.

People's Health Trust - Active Communities programme

Community groups and not-for-profit organisations with an income of less than £350,000 a year can apply for a grant of between £5,000 and £25,000 to help with projects which help create 'fairer places to grow, live, work and age' and run for between nine months and two years.

Funding windows for various areas change regularly so check for more information on the website here.



Deutschebank Small Grants Fund

If you are a charity, voluntary or community group with an income of less than £250,000 per annum and you need funding for work focusing on increasing social inclusion and improving well being, this fund may be able to help. Applications must be made via the London Community Foundation but the 2016 round of funding is now closed. 


The fund is currently closed. Information about future funding rounds will be posted on its website.

Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund- Estates Programme Open Round

This is an open programme that aims to support local communities and neighbourhoods across London to build on the skills and assets that exist in their community, tackle local need and to improve the lives of local people. Grants of between £2,000 and £20,000 are available to support work where there is clear evidence of benefit to residents living on and around estates or particular areas of housing in London. 

The fund is currently closed but future information about future rounds is here.  

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